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We All Need To Be Heard

The world feels hard right now and we are all affected in some way.

We need to be heard and we need to connect with and care for ourselves and others.

Sometimes it can be helpful for our health to slow down, step away, and become more comfortable with the concept of enough. But we need to share our stories and release some of our taught-ness. We need to speak freely in a safe space.

The pandemic and now the news has affected us all in some way. Whether financially and/ or in our relationships, our work, our sense of self, our ability to find joy and peace, our increased levels of anxiety; we have all been affected by the shifting boundaries, constant unknown, ongoing change, and stressful news that seems to be our current reality.

I have experienced anxiety and confusion myself. I have felt disconnected, insecure and recently as if life is contracting.

With the chaos and confusion of the pandemic, I turned to meditation to help relieve my anxiety.

I also turned to the digital world to create work when we temporarily lost a business.

In the digital space, I learnt that we need connections with others. I learnt that we all need to be heard. Whatever our personal circumstances, we need other people, and we need a safe space to be heard and seen.

It was from this realisation that the idea of the talk space arrived in my head.

a camel

The Talk Space – An Answer To Our Need To Be Heard

Some women I speak to feel that they lack the space to speak, in the way that they need to speak. Their need to be heard remains unfulfilled. I have experienced this too.

From my experience, I believe that speaking aloud can –

  • bring clarity to the dishevelled tangle of thoughts whipping around in our heads, and
  • support our self-awareness through increased self-knowledge.

Last week I started to offer my talk space as a simple sanctuary. It is for women who need the space and grace to speak while I listen.

We need to speak, and we need others to listen to us. We need the luxury of a window of time where we can let our thoughts and words flow out of us into a safe holding vessel.

I am not a therapist or a coach and I do not offer advice. I offer –

  • my presence for 45 minutes
  • in a space into which women can pour their words.

I simply listen.

From the feedback I have received so far, it seems that this is surprisingly useful and soothing.

Recently I wrote about listening. I added a new page on my website about our stories and added the subtitle “Find your voice. Tell your story. The Talk Space.” perhaps this is what many of us need. We simply need to share our stories with someone who is listening.

Inspired By A Movie

I recently watched a film, Call Me By Your Name which is set in the 1980s and conveys a slower time; a sensuous summer stretched out to the sound of cicadas, while the characters bicycle, rest, swim, siesta, converse and read paper books. The pace of life depicted seems so much more manageable, even luxurious, without the beeps and whirs of our ever-interrupting devices.

When the characters talk, others listen – they meet one another needs to be heard.

As I progress in this talk space journey, I am –

  • reflecting on the idea that we have perhaps lost much of the art of listening
  • wondering, with all our modcons, where has our time gone
  • curious to learn if we are filling up our time with quality life

So with both my experience of the talk space and the impression of this film in mind, I am endeavouring to:

  1. rest between bouts of busyness,
  2. be present, and
  3. to put my phone down more and more.

I believe we can create a better quality of life for ourselves with some simple tweaks and that we can find our inspiration to do so anywhere. Part of my inspiration to start the talk space was from this movie.

  • I want the women I listen to in the talk space, to hear themselves speak, and so to get to know themselves again. I would love them to experience some lightness fromsimply talking, and a sense of growing personal strength.

1. Rest Even When Busy

We are about to move house and start building. Our company that was dormant during the pandemic has woken up and with all the pre-build organisation and work-related planning and family juggling, life is currently pretty busy.

In between the checklists, follow-ups and work, I am also prioritising time to rest. I have learnt that I do better with rest, especially in busy times.

Many days I forget my need to rest. I hop between tasks juggling work, pre-build planning, running a household, packing boxes, and raising a couple of children.

Through time spent in self-focus and increased self-knowledge, I am getting better at recognising when I need to pause and catch my breath. I am also getting better at giving myself what I need.

Sometimes I need to get outside and go for a walk. I might need to drink a glass of water, stretch, read an article or cuddle the hounds.

When I listen to my own needs and allow myself to rest, the day ahead falls more smoothly into place.

  • I want the women I listen to in the talk space, to get comfortable with taking time to talk and to gain the confidence to give themselves permission to rest.
toddler racing around in a blur

2. Remember To Be Present – It Satisfies Our Need To Be Heard

Presence is my word of 2022.

Being present is about being fully aware of providing someone with your attention. It speaks of focus and being in the present moment.

When I am being present with one of my children, I am listening to them, I am looking at them, and I am not doing anything else at the same time.

In my experience of keeping presence top of mind as I go through my days this year, presence has a way of slowing life down because it doesn’t allow for juggling, hurrying or scattered thinking.

Your presence is a gift for others, and I would add a rare experience for some. It is also a gift for yourself.

  • I want the women I listen to in the talk space, to remember themselves as a priority, and to prioritise presence as they go through their days, for others and for themselves.

3. Put The Phone Down

Put The Phone Down so you don’t miss out on your life. It also helps greatly with presence.

Cal Newport wrote “Digital Minimalism” where he focuses on using technology with more intention and purpose, rather than letting it control us.

Digital minimalists are all around us. They’re the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don’t feel overwhelmed by it. They don’t experience “fear of missing out” because they already know which activities provide them with meaning and satisfaction.

extract from a summary of Digital Minimalism

My form of digital minimalism is simply putting my phone down when a family member is trying to talk to me – when I am not using it for time-critical work. No grand plan here! We can all take this simple step, and it will help to serve our child, partner or friend’s need to be heard.

It is a simple way to find more space and time, and presence. It also brings some thought to my phone usage and gives me a sense of being back in charge.

  • I want the women I listen to in the talk space, to get comfortable with disconnecting from the outside world while they prioritise their own need to talk.
big sister kissing little sister
put the phone down

Will you try to rest between bouts of busyness, to be more present, or to put your phone down a few more times this week? It might feel luxuriously spacious.

Would you like the opportunity to talk in the talk space? If so let me know in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading